When do clients in a 15% tax bracket pay 27.5% tax? When they must account for taxes on Social Security benefits. About 30 years ago, all Social Security benefits were tax-free. That's history, but there are still many ways planners can crack the tax code and save money for seniors and disabled clients.

Social Security recipients are taxed on what's known as combined income (it used to be called provisional income). It's the total of 50% of Social Security benefits, plus all of a taxpayer's other income - including tax-exempt interest. Once combined income is determined, taxpayers fall into one of three categories:

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